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June 30, 2011


I've posted varieties of idli sambar i learnt from my MOM & MIL.This one is my MIL's special sambar.My hubby loves this a lot . So i make at least once in a week.It tastes similar to hotel sambar.

idly sambhar toordal1

  • Tamarind - A small gooseberry size
To pressure cook:
  • Toor dal - 1/4 cup
  • Potato - 1 no (big)
  • Turmeric powder - A pinch
  • Water - As needed.
To Roast & grind 
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds -  2 tsp
  • Channa dal - 1 tbsp
  • Red chilly - 3 - 4 no (big)
  • Hing - 1/4 tsp
To saute:
  • Shallots / small onion - 15 nos
  • Tomato - 1 no (cut into small pieces)
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & water - As needed
To temper:
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
To garnish:
  • Coriander leaves - a few
  • Jaggery - A pinch
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp (for flavor)
  1. Soak the tamarind in warm water for 20 mins and take the extract.Set aside.
  2. Pressure cook all the ingredients given under "to pressure cook" till one whistle.Mash the dal and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and roast all the items given above in the same order till nice aroma arises.Powder and keep aside.
  4. In the same kadai , add oil and saute the items given under :to saute: .
  5. Saute till tomato turns mushy.Then add the sambar powder , tamarind extract , hing & salt.Allow it to boil till the onion gets cooked.
  6. Now add the mashed dal & powdered spices.
  7. Mix well & boil for sometime.(. Be careful while adding the powder because it may form lumps.So gently stir in & sprinkle the powder simultaneously.) When it boils , add jaggery & boil for some more time..
  8. Finally temper all the ingredients given under "to temper" and switch off the stove. Garnish with coriander leaves.Transfer to the serving bowl and top it with a tbsp of ghee .( i add only when there is a guest ;) )
Enjoy with soft idlies & crispy dosas by adding sesame oil!!

Variations :
** For the exact restaurant style sambhar , add a few curry leaves  while roasting the ingredients given for sambhar powder.
** Also try adding a tsp of grated coconut for additional flavor while roasting.
** Add veggies like brinjal , Drumstick and carrot to make it more healthy.

In this sambhar we should add very less tamarind extract.So it will taste mild and less spicy. If u want it more spicy & tangy , add pinched red chillies while tempering and squeeze some drops of lime juice before serving.


Pigeon peas are nutritionally important, as they contain high levels ofprotein and the important amino acids methionine, lysine, and tryptophan. In combination with cereals, pigeon peas make a well-balanced human food.
Other common names
Other common names are तुवरि (tuvari) in Sanskrit, arhar(Hindi/Bangla:অরহর), Rohor (Assamese), Rahar (Nepali), red gram, toovar/toor (Gujarati/Marathi/Punjabi), tuvaram paruppu (Tamil: துவரம்பருப்பு),tuvara (Malayalam :"തുവര" ),togari (Kannada), Kandi(కంది)(Telugu), Yewof ater (Amharic), gandul, guandul, guandu, Congo pea, Gungo pea, Gunga pea, and no-eye pea.
It is useful in the treatment of internal organ swelling. Some herbal practitioners/researchers are of the opinion that it diminishes the swelling of internal organs like stomach, liver, intestines etc. In case of wound or cancer of these organs it is helpful in reducing them. Its recommended usage is: Green leaves of Pigeon peas around 10 grams along with 7 black peppers should be finely ground and mixed in water and then taken as a drink. Green leaves of Pigeon peas ground in water and added to half boiled water should be applied externally on the affected body part. Pigeon peas should be cooked in water (as dal, an Indian dish) and its water should be given to the patient.

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June 17, 2011

Aloo Bonda Recipe-Urulaikizhangu/Potato bonda-Tea Time Snacks

Aloo bonda recipe

Aloo bonda,Potato bonda,Urulaikizhangu bonda,Alu bonda,stuffed bonda etc etc Tongue – This yummy South Indian Tea Time snack with a crispy exterior and soft interior with potato masala stuffing is called by different names in different languages.Whatever be the name it’s one of the most favorite Tea time snacks for kids and adults as wellHappy.Raksha loves Onion bajji and Potato bonda among all the deep fried snacks.So I make this very often in my kitchen after she comes back from the school.Whenever I make these snacks for her,I can see a thousand watts bulb in her face out of joy, make bajji and bonda,I always follow the ratio of 3:1 besan and rice flour to make bonda or bajji.It never fails for me.Do try this recipe by following the tips i have shared here.You will get it perfectPeace Sign.Ok,lets see how to make this crispy aloo bonda recipe.

Don't forget to check out my Aloo Paneer Bonda Recipe.The combo and aloo and paneer woul dbe a double treat for your kids :)
Aloo bonda recipe

Aloo bonda recipe

Aloo bonda recipe Aloo bonda recipe/Potato bonda - South Indian style tea time snack recipe
Cuisine: South Indian
Category: snacks
Serves: 8 nos
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

  • Potato - 2 nos (medium sized )
  • Green chilli - 2 nos (finely chopped )
  • Big onions - 1 no (-do-)
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Ginger - a small piece (Finely chopped)
  • Salt & water - as required
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Urad dal- 1/2 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Coriander leaves - few
  • Lime juice - A few drops ( optional)
  • Gram flour - 6 tbsp
  • Rice flour - 2 tsbp
  • Cooking soda - a big pinch
  • Red chiiy powder - 1 tsp
  • Hing - A pinch
  • Salt & water - as required

  • Wash and pressure cook the potatoes.Peel the skin and mash it well.Set aside.Chop the onions,chilli,ginger and coriander leaves.
Aloo bonda recipe

  • Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds,urad dal,chana dal and curry leaves.Add onions,green chillies,ginger bits and saute well.Now add the mashed potato.Mix well.Add salt,turmeric powder and mix well.Make it like a thick dough.Lastly garnish with coriander leaves and keep the masala ready.Sprinkle some lemon juice if needed.
Potato bonda recipe

  • Make a small lemon sized balls out of the stuffing and keep them in a plate. In a wide bowl,take the besan flour,rice flour,red chilli powder,cooking soda,hing,salt and  pinch of food color if needed.Mix everything well.Add water and make a cream like paste.The batter should be thick and fall like a ribbon.Do not add more water and make the batter thin because thin batter makes tails while u drop the bonda in oil.Whereas very thick batter gives you hard bonda.So the quantity of water is very important.
Potato bonda recipe

  • Heat oil to deep fry.Drop a pinch of batter and if it rises immediately,oil is ready.Now take the potato ball and dip in the batter.Coat the balls well with the batter and drop in the hot oil.Cook in medium flame by turning the bonda at regular intervals.Remove when it turns golden brown.Drain the oil in a tissue and serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato sauce ! Enjoy with hot tea !
Potato bonda recipe
Potato bonda recipe

    POTATO - Health Benefits
    Potatoes are a very popular food source. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. Such treatment can make even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. But take away the extra fat and deep frying, and a baked potato is an exceptionally healthful low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
    Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.
    Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.
    Potatoes' Phytochemicals Rival Those in Broccoli
    Potatoes' reputation as a high-carb, white starch has removed them from the meals of many a weight-conscious eater, but this stereotype is due for a significant overhaul. A new analytical method developed by Agricultural Research Service plant geneticist Roy Navarre has identified 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins in the skins and flesh of 100 wild and commercially grown potatoes. Analysis of Red and Norkotah potatoes revealed that these spuds' phenolic content rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, and includes flavonoids with protective activity against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. Navarre's team also identified potatoes with high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, quercetin and kukoamines. These last compounds, which have blood pressure lowering potential, have only been found in one other plant, Lycium chinense (a.k.a., wolfberry/gogi berry). How much kukoamine is needed for a blood pressure lowering effect in humans must be assessed before it can be determined whether an average portion of potatoes delivers enough to impact cardiovascular health. Still, potatoes' phytochemical profiles show it's time to shed their starch-only image; spuds-baked, steamed or healthy sautéed but not fried-deserve a place in your healthy way of eating."Phytochemical Profilers Investigate Potato Benefits,"Agricultural Research, September 2007
    Blood-Pressure Lowering Potential
    UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine, kukoamines were found in potatoes using a new type of research called metabolomics.
    Until now, when analyzing a plant's composition, scientists had to know what they were seeking and could typically look for 30 or so known compounds. Now, metabolomic techniques enable researchers to find the unexpected by analyzing the 100s or even 1000s of small molecules produced by an organism.
    "Potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and we thought traditional crops were pretty well understood," said IFR food scientist Dr Fred Mellon, "but this surprise finding shows that even the most familiar of foods might conceal a hoard of health-promoting chemicals." Another good reason to center your diet around the World's Healthiest Foods!
    In addition to potatoes, researchers looked at tomatoes since they belong to the same plant family-Solanaceae-as Lycium chinense. Metabolomic assays also detected kukoamine compounds in tomatoes.
    The IFR scientists found higher levels of kukoamines and related compounds than some of the other compounds in potatoes that have a long history of scientific investigation. However, because they were previously only noted in Lycium chinense, kukoamines have been little studied. Researchers are now determining their stability during cooking and dose response (how much of these compounds are needed to impact health).
    Vitamin B6-Building Your Cells
    If only for its high concentration of vitamin B6-a cup of baked potato contains 21.0% of the daily value for this important nutrient-the potato earns high marks as a health-promoting food.
    Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions take place, so vitamin B6 is active virtually everywhere in the body. Many of the building blocks of protein, amino acids, require B6 for their synthesis, as do the nucleic acids used in the creation of our DNA. Because amino and nucleic acids are such critical parts of new cell formation, vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body. Heme (the protein center of our red blood cells) and phospholipids (cell membrane components that enable messaging between cells) also depend on vitamin B6 for their creation.
    Vitamin B6-Brain Cell and Nervous System Activity
    Vitamin B6 plays numerous roles in our nervous system, many of which involve neurological (brain cell) activity. B6 is necessary for the creation of amines, a type of messaging molecule or neurotransmitter that the nervous system relies on to transmit messages from one nerve to the next. Some of the amine-derived neurotransmitters that require vitamin B6 for their production are serotonin, a lack of which is linked to depression;melatonin, the hormone needed for a good night's sleep;epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that help us respond to stress; and GABA, which is needed for normal brain function.
    Vitamin B6-Cardiovascular Protection
    Vitamin B6 plays another critically important role in methylation, a chemical process in which methyl groups are transferred from one molecule to another. Many essential chemical events in the body are made possible by methylation, for example, genes can be switched on and turned off in this way. This is particularly important in cancer prevention since one of the genes that can be switched on and off is the tumor suppressor gene, p53. Another way that methylation helps prevent cancer is by attaching methyl groups to toxic substances to make them less toxic and encourage their elimination from the body.
    Methylation is also important to cardiovascular health. Methylation changes a potentially dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign substances. Since homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls greatly increasing the progression of atherosclerosis, high homocysteine levels are associated with a significantly increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Eating foods rich in vitamin B6 can help keep homocysteine levels low. In addition, diets high in vitamin B6-rich foods are associated with overall lower rates of heart disease, even when homocysteine levels are normal, most likely because of all the other beneficial activities of this energetic B vitamin.
    A single baked potato will also provide you with 11.7% of the daily value for fiber, but remember the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin. If you want the cholesterol-lowering, colon cancer preventing, and bowel supportive effects of fiber, be sure to eat the potato's flavorful skin as well as its creamy center.
    Vitamin B6-Athletic Performance
    Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in our muscle cells and liver, so this vitamin is a key player in athletic performance and endurance.

Make this kids favorite evening snack once they are back from school.They will enjoy it !
Potato bonda recipe
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June 9, 2011


I wanted to try vathal kuzhambu with okra for a long time. I made it for today's lunch and i loved it.

okra puli kuzhambu

  • Okra / lady's finger / vendakkai - 5 nos (Chop into round thin slices)
  • Tamarind - Medium gooseberry size
  • **Sambar powder -  2 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Turmeric powder - 2 pinches
  • Jaggery - a small piece
To temper :
  • Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
  • Methi seeds / Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera- 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Toor dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Small onions - 2 nos (finely chopped)
  • Garlic cloves - 4 nos (-do-)
  • Curry leaves - few (-do-)
  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 20 mins and take the extract. Add salt , sambhar powder and turmeric powder.set aside.
  • Now in a kadai , heat oil and add the tempering items in the same order.Saute for a while.Now add the chopped lady's finger pieces and saute well.
  • Now add the tamarind extract and allow it to boil till okra gets cooked. Add a small piece of jaggery.
  • Switch off the flame.Transfer to a bowl and add a tsp of gingely oil .Cover it and serve after 30 mins.This gives a special flavor for the gravy.
Mix with plain rice & enjoy with sutta appalam :)
** For sambar powder recipe, please click for homemade recipe. U can use ur home made or store bought powder too.There will be no change in taste i guess..

okra puli kuzhambu 1


Lady's finger /Okra :
Okra, also known as Ladies Fingers, Gombo, Bendi or Gumbo, appears to have originated from the West Africa and is well known for its great health benefits.
Benefits of Okra
According to research done by Ms. Sylvia Zook (Ph.D, nutrition, University of Illinois), Okra is full of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins. Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.
The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, thus decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colon cancer. Colon Cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world.
okraThe superior fiber found in okra helps to prevent diabetes and constipation. Okra is a rich source of many nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, C, iron and calcium.
Ladies finger is a very useful vegetable and inexpensive medicine, as it is available practically round the year in India. Due to its sweet taste, cold potency, vata-pitta pacifier nature, strength promoting aphrodisiac qualities, it is a very useful to ladies close to menopause. It is found beneficial in leucorrhoea and dysuria also.
Okra is also reported to be beneficial to those suffering from diabetes as it helps to stabilize the blood sugar. Some people have even claimed to have cured their diabetes or their condition greatly improved with the daily consumption of water that has been soaked with okra.
**Take two pieces of Lady Finger (Bhindi) and remove/cut both ends of each piece. Also put a small cut in the middle and put these two pieces in glass of water. Cover the glass and keep it at room temperature during night. Early morning, before breakfast simply remove two pieces of lady finger (bhindi) from the glass and drink that water.
Keep doing it on daily basis.
Within two weeks, you will see remarkable results in reduction of your SUGAR.
Health Benefits of Lady's Finger :
  1. 1) The vegetable is a good provider of good bacteria called the probiotics. Probiotics helps in biosynhtesis of vitamin B. They also help in proliferation just like the yoghurt.
  2. 2) Nurture you hair : Lady's Finger can be applied to hair as the last rinse to make your hair bounce.
    Follow the steps ahead
    • Slice the lady's finger horizontally and boil it till the is brew is slim.
    • Cool it off and add few drops of lemon juice to it.
    • Apply this to your hair and enjoy the bouncy look.
  3. Lady's finger has other health benefits as mentioned below.
    1. Excellent laxative.
    2. Treats Bowels.
    3. Heals Ulcers.
    4. Soothes the gastrointestinal tract.
Lady finger is also known as Okra. It is a very valuable source of nutrition. It can help with the following health conditions:
  1. It helps relieve constipation
  2. It helps control blood sugar as it curbs the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.
  3. It helps in healing acid reflux
  4. It contains soluble fibre which helps in controlling the cholesterol level in our bodies.
  5. It contains insoluble fiber too which keeps the intestinal track healthy.
  6. Lady Finger helps in reducing risks of deadly diseases like cancer.
  7. Lady fingers are especially beneficial for the control of colo-rectal cancer .
  8. Human body is recommended to have a certain level of vitamin B 6 and folic acid. Half a cup of cooked Lady fingers provide nearly 10% of the recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid.
Here are some nutritional facts of Lady fingers:
Okra Nutrition (half-cup cooked Lady Finger) contains:
  • Calories : 25
  • Dietary Fiber : 2 grams
  • Protein : 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates : 5.8 grams
  • Vitamin A : 460 IU
  • Vitamin C : 13 mg
  • Folic acid : 36.5 micrograms
  • Calcium : 50 mg
  • Iron : 0.4 mg
  • Potassium : 256 mg
  • Magnesium : 46 mg
To retain the nutrients present in lady fingers, it should be cooked as little as possible, eg with low heat or lightly steamed. You can even eat it raw.

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June 2, 2011



I was searching for a low fat , steamed snack . I got this recipe from a blog . I did some changes and tried it.It was very soft & tasty.




  • Rice flour - 1 cup
  • Water – 1.5 - 2 cups
  • Oil - 1 drop
  • Salt - As needed


  • Cooking Oil -  1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal -1 tsp
  • Channa dal - 1 tsp
  • Green chilly - 2 nos ( slitted)
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece ( chopped finely)
  • Curry leaves - a sprig
  • Asafetida - 1 pinch
  • Grated coconut - 1/4 cup




  • Take the water in a kadai and allow it to boil by adding the salt & a drop of oil.
  • As soon as it starts to roll boil add the measured rice flour and stir well without forming lumps. It will become a soft, non sticky dough.
  • Let it cool. Then knead it well and make very small balls out of the warm dough by greasing ur hands with little gingely oil. Steam cook the balls by arranging them in idly plate. It takes nearly 10 mins to cook. Now remove the balls carefully and set aside.
  • In a kadai heat the oil and temper the items given above in the same order.
  • Add the balls at the end and toss well. Check for salt and mix the grated coconut.
Serve hot !!



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